The 2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class has a Total Car Score in the upper reaches of its category. This midsize premium crossover SUV is coming to the end of its second generation; an all-new version launches next year.
During its life cycle, this Alabama-built model has addressed many of the qualms people had regarding the first generation, where materials and build quality were not the stuff of an upscale German marque.
Few M-B products claim to be super-sporty. They start out with sophistication and strong engineering, then build a little attitude (or, in the case of AMG models, quite a lot) on to that foundation.
Such is the case with the M-Class. It offers composure, confidence, stability, refinement, space and appointment in measures that work for most of the crossover-buying population. It even has some off-roading capability. Engine choices range from gasoline to diesel to hybrid, while horsepower covers the ground from 210 to 503.
Safety equipment, and comfort and convenience features are about as good and innovative as it gets.
The 2011 model year sees only minor changes: LED daytime running lights and blind spot assistance becoming available, and re-designed side mirrors.
The five-seater 2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class range starts with the ML350: 3.5-liter V6, 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.
The ML350 Bluetec has a 3.0-liter turbodiesel, 210 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. The M-Class Hybrid ML450 is covered separately.
The ML550's 5.5-liter V8 makes 382 hp and 391 lb-ft. The ML63 AMG is covered separately.
All versions come standard with M-B’s 4Matic all-wheel drive system, except the ML350, which comes with rear- or all-wheel drive. In each case, power goes through a seven-speed automatic transmission.
Standard equipment in the ML350 and ML350 Bluetec includes vinyl upholstery, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth and 19-inch alloy wheels. The ML550 adds heated front seats and running boards.
Amenities include leather upholstery, navigation, a Harmon/Kardon audio system, a power liftgate and a rear-view camera.
Options include an adjustable sport-tuned air suspension, larger ventilated brakes front and rear, heated rear seats, and 20-inch wheels.
Standard safety kit includes side curtain airbags, traction and stability controls, plus hill start assist and hill descent control. Blind spot monitoring is optional.
The rear drive 2011 Mercedes-Benz ML350 is EPA-rated at 16 mpg city, 20 mpg highway and 17 mpg combined; the 4Matic version achieves 15/20/17 mpg. Diesel consumption for the ML350 Bluetec runs to 18/25/21 mpg. The ML550 returns 13/18/15 mpg.
Total Car Score is not affiliated with, associated, authorized, or endorsed by, or in any way officially connected to any of the Expert Resources, nor does Total Car Score endorse any of the Expert Resources, or its affiliates.
Click here to see more.